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Lisa Aversa Richette

Lisa Aversa Richette, American judge. Bar: Pennsylvania 1954. Decorated Star of Solidarity (Italy); recipient Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania award Commonwealth Pennsylvania, 1991, St. Thomas More Lawyer of Year award, 1994.


Richette, Lisa Aversa was born on September 11, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Daughter of Domenico and Maria (Giannini) Aversa.


Bachelor summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1949;Bachelor of Laws, Yale University, 1952.


A lifelong Philadelphian, she was appointed to the bench in 1971. Noted for her outspokenness, she was a social activist particularly in the areas of homelessness, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Richette was a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

She was one of the first female graduates of Yale Law School. She became an assistant district attorney, one of a handful of groundbreaking women in the local legal profession along with the future long serving District Attorney of Philadelphia Lynne Abraham. Once thrown out of court for wearing a pantsuit, Richette often wore pants and long dangling earrings in court at a time when it was considered almost risqué for a female attorney to do so.

In 1971, she was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County, being one of the first females to hold that office. Richette was the author of the 1969 book on the juvenile justice system in Philadelphia, The Throwaway Children. In 1973 she founded the Child Abuse Prevention Effort (CAPE).

She taught at Yale Law School and Villanova University. Late in her life, Richette made local headlines on three occasions as a result of being physically assaulted. She was mugged in 1987, while "scores of people watched without helping her".

She died of lung cancer at the Vitas Hospice in St Agnes' Continuing Care Center in South Philadelphia, aged 79.


Co-founder, board directors Big Sisters, Philadelphia Young Women’s Christian Association, National Commission Child Abuse. President Philadelphia Health and Welfare Council, 1958-1960. Member Philadelphia Bar Association (vice chairman chancellor's commission on drug abuse 1972-1975), Justinian Society, University of Pennsylvania Women's Alumna Society (president 1966-1970), Mortar Board, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta. F C.


Married Lawrence J. Richette, April 15, 1958 (divorced April 1971). 1 child, Lawrence Anthony World War II.